National Lottery hands charity projects £3.4m in digital funding

The National Lottery Community Fund’s Digital Fund will help eight projects to use digital to improve their support for service users.

Joe Lepper | 15th Jul 19

Eight charitable projects have been handed £3.4m from the National Lottery to boost their digital capabilities.

The funding has been handed out through the National Lottery Community Fund’s Digital Fund with a specific brief to improve the use of digital technology and skills within charities’ operations and service delivery.

Those to benefit from the digital funding include the charity Wag and Company which supports older people in care homes through visits from volunteers and dogs. They have been handed £350,000 to improve their digital infrastructure to expand their activities and services.

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Diane Morton, Founding Director of Wag and Company, said: “As a smaller charity experiencing an increasing demand for our services, we’re over the moon. This Digital Fund grant is going to be transformational for us – we can more than double our activities by 2022 and grow our volunteer base significantly, meaning we can play a bigger part in tackling social isolation among older people in our region.”

Co-designing improvements

Addaction has been awarded £500,000 to work with service users to co-design digital services and products.

Laura Bunt, Deputy CEO of Addaction, added: “This grant will enable us to develop and streamline our chat and messaging tools, to ensure our services reach more people, while also transforming how we use data.

“We’re very grateful to The National Lottery Community Fund for buying in to our mission to transform how we work for our clients – this grant will help us reach more people, when and where they need us.

The Law Centres Network, which represents centres that offer legal advice and representation around social welfare issues, has also been handed £500,000, to improve its organisation and services.

Scotland based Abelour, which supports vulnerable families and children, is also to benefit and will spend its award to engage staff, volunteers and service users in digital change, including using data to help improve its work.

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Others are National Ugly Mugs, which will use digital technology to support the safety of sex workers who are vulnerable to violence. This will help in the reporting of incidents and receive alerts.

Meanwhile, Family Lives has netted funding to use digital technology in its work supporting families, Lancashire Women’s Centre’s award is to use digital to boost early intervention work and Scotland based Children 1st aims to create a digital hub to help families.


Harnessing the power of digital

The Digital Fund award follow’s last week’s award by the National Lottery of £500,000 to support’s CAST (Centre for Acceleration of Social Technology)’s Catalyst project to support small charities to improve their digital technology.

> See also: Partnership launched to boost digital skills among charities

Joe Ferns, UK Knowledge and Portfolio Director at The National Lottery Community Fund said: “In a digital society it’s important that charities and community organisations are not only able to adapt to be fit for the future, but can harness the power of digital to identify new opportunities to improve services to support more people.”

“Now, thanks to National Lottery players, these organisations can increase their digital capacity to have a greater impact in communities and support our sector to thrive in the digital age.”